Do The Scottish Media Expect Miracles From Rangers Man Alfredo Morelos?

The Scottish Premiership kicked off the 2020-21 season today and it was great to see Scottish football return, even though it was sad that our terraces remained empty.

Aberdeen and Rangers fought it out in the early kick-off with Steven Gerrard’s men edging out the home side at Pittodrie.

A lot of the post match coverage on Sky Sports focused on the performance of Gers hitman Alfredo Morelos.

To be honest had you not watched the game and just caught the post match analysis you’d be forgiven if you thought that the Colombian striker had endured a stinker up North.

The panel of Ally McCoist, Kris Boyd and Darren Fletcher were quick to question the player’s fitness and his appetite for the game.

Now this intense spotlight has been on ‘El Bufalo’ since his arrival in Govan in 2017. That spotlight has only became brighter with the news that Lille have agreed personal terms with the forward this summer and want to bring him to France (Source Edinburgh News).

The Scottish media will constantly point to his petulant behaviour, his poor disciplinary record and question his mentality. Now the problem I’ve got with that is that they often chuck it all together instead of looking at incidents on an individual basis.

Morelos at times has let himself and his teammates down with silly decisions or by making rash challenges but at times he has reacted to nasty tackles and sometimes the referees card him due to his reputation, he has had red cards downgraded.

Now let’s get back to today.

Sky were saying he wasn’t doing enough and was coming too deep. Fletcher basically said he was coming deep because he wasn’t fully fit and just wanted to show he was trying.

Yet look at the Rangers goal.

Ianis Hagi flicked the ball around a Dons defender, Morelos receives it inside his own half but facing the Aberdeen goal. The Colombian international has dragged Scott McKenna into a midfield position and his defensive teammate Ash Taylor is then pushed towards the ball and that leaves room in behind Taylor. Morelos then passes the ball through Aberdeen’s centre-backs and into an on-rushing Ryan Kent, who then produced a composed finish to win the game.

At no point did the Sky Sports pundits debate whether this was actually Steven Gerrard’s tactic all along. Have Morelos come deep and free up space in behind the Dons backline.

Athletic journalist Jordan Campbell was quick to point out on twitter that this is a tactic that has been used before regarding Morelos playing away at Aberdeen:

Sky’s trio also debated whether or not Morelos was really up for it. They did all that while showing a video package of the hitman holding the ball up and playing in teammates.

They then looked at his touch map and presenter Eilidh Barbour had to tell her colleagues that he actually made more touches in this Premiership game than any he played in last season.

Yet Kris Boyd again questioned where he was having those touches, only seven were in the Aberdeen penalty area. Now it’s a bit rich that coming from Boyd, who would often be dropped for the bigger games because he simply didn’t contribute enough in the eyes of legendary Rangers manager Walter Smith.

We also had questions about Alfredo being less sharp than normal.

Now this is one that I can get on board with but again there are clear reasons for this and not just the ‘He’s had his head turned‘.

Morelos does generally take time to get fully match fit, I don’t think it’s a weight thing, he just usually has European qualifiers to help him get up to speed quicker. It was the same in the English Premier League when lockdown was eased, players took time to get back to full match fitness and get used to playing without fans (Morelos does feed off crowds).

I also want to comment on Charlie Adam and the former Gers midfielder discussing the valuation of Morelos.

Adam stated on BBC Radio:

“I would get rid of him. If the money comes for him, I’d get rid of him now.

“Due to Covid, I think anything between £8m-£12m and you’ve got to take it.”

Charlie Adam

Now I just don’t get it. I hate it when people try and value a player, it’s all down to what a club is willing to accept and what a buyer is willing to pay. I honestly don’t think Charlie Adam has anymore idea on valuations than I do.

By all means explain to me why you’d sell him and discuss the players qualities but you want to sell him for £8m to a team that has just brought in £60m? Are you forgetting Morelos has scored 72 league goals in 146 games and a further 18 Europa League goals and you’ll need to replace that?!

Why does the Scottish media want to constantly cheapen our game?

Social media always sees people having a go at the striker but that’s more understandable as opposition fans will always dislike figures like Alfredo Morelos. But I believe that more of our journalists and pundits need to be impartial and back up opinions with proper debate. It is all becoming very tiring and I am starting to wonder if they really just want to run the young man out of town.

Raul Jimenez Would Offer Man United’s Frontline Something Different

Manchester United enjoyed a thrilling end to the season and their magnificent run-in brought with it a place in next season’s Champions League.

A particular highlight was The Red Devils attacking options with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood all standing out.

Yet at times when that fluid front three struggled to get in behind tough defences, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t have a Plan B to go to.

The Man Utd gaffer seems to be ready to rectify that problem with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez being heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford (Source The Mirror).

Serie A champions Juventus have also been credited with an interest, so United will have to act quickly if they really want the Mexican hitman.

I think it would certainly make sense for United to go out and bring the twenty-nine year old to Manchester.

In his two seasons in the Premier League, Raul has bagged an impressive thirty goals in seventy-six league outings. He has also scored nine in his last thirteen Europa League games for Wolves.

It’s worth noting that in those two years at Molineux, he hasn’t missed games due to any injuries. That resilience and his natural fitness could be huge for United when you think of the injury issues Martial and Rashford have suffered from in recent seasons.

It’s the playing style of Jimenez that would really give Man United something different and a much needed improvement in my opinion.

The Mexican is well known for giving his side a physical presence up-front, which United desperately need at this stage as they head into a new season.

The forward can hold the ball up and he’s extremely effective in the air, both qualities that can lead to goals for himself and teammates. Raul also has the ability to go slightly deeper and allow space for pacy forwards to run in behind opposition defences.

Jimenez’s current boss Nuno Espirito Santo just last month stated that the striker is a special talent and also said that the international attacker is also motivated to continually improve:

‘He has been working very hard and he is a special player. His motivation is to improve, he has broken the club record (most goals in a Premier League season) and he is challenging himself again and again every day.’

Nuno Espirito Santo via Daily Mail

That trait of always trying to better yourself would again attract a manager like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it’s a trait he also had as a player and something Sir Alex Ferguson always looked out for.

I truly believe that if a club is going to challenge for major honours then they have to have a Plan B, save Pep Guardiola’s Fc Barcelona team for a limited time.

It’s what helped Solskjaer and United win their historic treble in 1999. They had four strikers and they offered something different depending on what combination Fergie used.

If they were to bring in Raul Jimenez, then Manchester United would once again have a different striker in the mix that would offer them something physically up-top that they’ve been missing in the last twelve months!

Chelsea Old Guard Helped Them To Top Four & Could Be Vital In FA Cup Bid

Chelsea managed to reach their Premier League target for this season and gain a place in next season’s Champions League.

This weekend The Blues could secure the FA Cup if they triumph over London rivals Arsenal at Wembley.

Now for much of this season Blues boss Frank Lampard has been applauded for giving youth a chance at Stamford Bridge.

The likes of Tammy Abraham, Billy Gilmour, Mason Mount, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori have all shone at different stages this season.

But after the pandemic lockdown finished and football returned, it was some of Chelsea’s older stars that really stood out and helped the side gain that all important top four finish.

Willian, Olivier Giroud, Cesar Azpilicueta and Jorginho have all stepped up and given Lampard’s side a solid backbone as they closed the campaign out.

Brazilian international Willian has created three assists and scored four goals in his side’s last ten games. The thirty-one year old’s contract expires after Cup Final and he’s been linked with moves to Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona.

Yet his stunning end of season form could see Chelsea agreeing to his contract demands with Sky Sports suggesting a new deal could be agreed some time this week.

Giroud is a World Cup winner and he has a history of grabbing goals in England’s top flight but for much of the early part of the season he was left on the bench as Tammy Abraham was given the striking starting berth.

Yet the Frenchman never took the huff and just waited for his chance to help out his teammates. That chance arrived earlier this year and after lockdown he’s been Chelsea main focus in attack. Giroud has banged in a whopping seven goals in his last ten games.

Lampard has triggered a one extension to key the thirty-three year old striker at Stamford Bridge and he’s been very complimentary of his experienced hitman:

“I’m really pleased, really pleased. Oli has to take all the credit from January onwards. We all know that he wasn’t playing much at the start. Tammy played a lot. I was never unaware of Oli’s talents, but that was just the circumstance at the time.” 
“But to have the personality, strength of character and talent to come in and affect things the way he has before the lockdown and then carried it on.” 
“He has always been big on the training ground and changing room for me, but I don’t want to talk about that too much because we have to respect the talent of the goals he is scoring. Players love playing with him, he is a reference point for the team and I am delighted to have him.

Lampard Via Sports Illustrated

Cesar Azpilicueta has been a Chelsea mainstay for years. He had a bit of a dodgy start to the season but by the end he was the leader at the back that helped gain the points The Blues needed. He helped his side to keep five clean-sheets in their last ten outings and he also created two assists.

Italian midfielder Jorginho only returned to the first team for six games in July but out of those games, Chelsea won five of them and he help kick things ticking over with his passing in the engine room.

In the final game of the season, which Chelsea needed to win to guarantee Champions League football for next term, Frank Lampard was worried about the goalkeeping position. In the end he decided that Kepa had made too many mistakes and he didn’t trust him for the important fixture with Wolves. Thus he opted to play veteran shot-stopper Wily Caballero.

The Argentine kept a clean-sheet and Chelsea pick up that vital win (BBC Match Report).

It has definitely been refreshing to see so many great young talented players getting the chance to shine at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard has been terrific in getting so much from these exciting prospects.

But as the race for a top four finish reaching a boiling point, it was impressive to see their manager realise that experience was needed to get them over the line. It was equally great that those older players rose to the challenge and helped their younger teammates end the season by reaching their main objective.

Now they have the chance to help them get their hands on silverware and be ready for next term!

Scottish Football Is Coming Back!

In conjunction with Supporters Direct Scotland, I produced this video as we all get excited about Scottish football’s return for the 2020-21.

I know some teams will have to wait slightly longer to get back onto the pitch and the fans will also have to be patient before they can return to the terraces but it’s exciting to see light at the end of the tunnel!

Arsenal Should Build Brighter Future Around Bukayo Saka

Copyright – Arsenal.com

Arsenal have got quite the array of young talent coming through their ranks at the moment.

Luckily enough they also have a rookie and talented coach in Mikel Arteta that seems keen to bleed these prodigious talented youths into his first team plans.

For me, the pick of the bunch and the player that could The Gunners next top star is Bukayo Saka.

Still just eighteen years of age, Saka has had a fantastic breakthrough season at the Emirates.

Always eager to impress and get minutes under his belt, Bukayo has made over thirty appearances for the senior side this term. He has impressed in various positions having played as a left-back, left winger, left sided forward, right forward, as a number ten and as a central midfielder so far this season.

Personally, I think he’s best suited to the attacking left winger role but being versatile will at least give him more time on the pitch.

As a creative force, Saka has shown some really mature performances in the final third. He has created five assists in the Premier League so far this term (Only Nicolas Pepe has made more league assists for Arsenal this season) and another five in the Europa League. He has also managed four goals in all competitions.

Bukayo is a very energetic, enthusiastic and skilful performer.

Last night in The Gunners 1-1 draw with Leicester City (BBC Match Report) he showed all his qualities. He ran relentlessly and was always eager to run in behind the Foxes defence. For Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal, Saka got in behind Caglar Söyüncü before skilfully getting beyond Johnny Evans and laying it on to Aubameyang.

Former Gunners forward Robin Van Persie loved Saka’s movement and assist:

Earlier this year it was announced that Bukayo Saka had signed a new long term deal at Arsenal (Via Arseblog.com). That gives Arteta time to rebuild his squad and have Saka play a pivotal role within his side.

Arteta has been extremely impressed with the youngster and will be delighted to tie him down:

“Bukayo is a talented and intelligent young player. He has impressed me with his work ethic and attitude to learn and adapt, and it has paid off in his performances. I am excited to continue working with him to develop him further, and for him to help us achieve our goals.”

Mikel Arteta Via Arsenal.com

The great news for Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal faithful is that this should just be the beginning for Bukayo Saka. The more he plays, the better he should get. He has an abundance of talent and hopefully he can fulfil his full potential at Arsenal!

Time Could Be Right For Man United To Sell English Duo

Manchester United have been very strong since the Premier League restarted after lockdown. They are now extremely close to a top four finish.

But when Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reviews this season as a whole, when it finally finishes, then he’ll probably assess his squad and decide on what players haven’t contributed enough. Those stars may be allowed to depart Old Trafford, freeing up funds to reinforce his pool with a better quality of player.

I think two England internationalists could be allowed to leave during the summer transfer window if an appropriate bid comes in for them.

The two in question are Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard.

This has been Phil’s ninth season at United and I don’t think he has ever fully fulfilled his potential. He’s only managed to play on eight occasions so far this season, of which only two of those have been in the Premier League.

Injuries have hampered Jones’ time at Old Trafford but so have mistakes. If Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are fully fit then Phil Jones isn’t getting a look in. At twenty-eight, it’s surely better for the player to move on and get first team football elsewhere and it’s better for Man United to offload that wage and bring in a player that will offer a fight for a centre-back berth.

Jesse Lingard has been involved a lot more than Jones but the attacking midfielder has struggled to make a real impact whilst on the field.

Jesse hasn’t bagged a single goal or an assist in his twenty league appearances this season. Bruno Fernandes arrived in January and the Portuguese maestro has become the real creative force in that number ten position and has pushed Lingard out of starting contention.

To stay at a club the size of Man Utd, endeavour simply isn’t enough! You need to provide more and as a forward thinking player you have to be able to change games. Jesse Lingard has gone too long without being able to do that.

Then you also have to factor in the fact that the England international forward only has a year to run on his current contract, surely it’s better to cash in now.

Former Red Devils hitman Dwight Yorke has stated to Stadium Astro that Jesse’s time could be up at United unless he does something between now and the end of this campaign:

“At 27 years of age, you ought to be a bit regular. If it’s not happening, maybe he has to look elsewhere. But for now, he’s still got some games and he’s still got to prove himself.”

Dwight Yorke Via Goal.com

There could be plenty of departures this summer for Manchester United.

I’m pretty sure the club will probably look to move Alexis Sanchez and Marcos Rojo on in permanent deals. They could also allow Chris Smalling to turn his loan move to AS Roma into a longterm transfer. I’m not sure if Andreas Pereira has a future at Old Trafford, he could be sold if a bid comes in. I would also be interested to know Ole’s thoughts on Eric Bailly. The Daily Mail have also suggested Juan Mata could be on his way to Turkish side Fenerbahce.

I still think that it could suit everyone involved that Man United add Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard to the list of players they are willing to sell.

To challenge for top titles United can’t remain loyal t underperforming stars. Sir Alex Ferguson was ruthless when it came to ending United careers and now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to do the same,

Partey/Edouard In For Guendouzi/Lacazette Would Represent Good Summer For Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Artea will know that he’ll have a bit of a rebuilding job to do at the Emirates in the summer.

The rookie boss could do well if he keeps it smart and simple with certain deals.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey has been strongly linked with the Gunners all year. It’s thought that the defensive minded star has a £47m release clause (Source Goal.com) and that the Ghanian is ready to leave his current employers.

That all bodes well for Arsenal, who still need more energy, height and tackling qualities in their engine room.

Thomas has a strong passing average of above 84% in La Liga this term, wins around 2 headers per game and also 2 tackles per domestic outing too (Stats from Whoscored). He’s know for being able to win the ball and also holding onto it for his team.

Partey is rumoured to be extremely keen to join Arteta’s side (Source The Metro) and that could entice Arsenal to step up their interest.

Now it looks increasingly unlikely that Arsenal will secure a top four finish this term and that will mean no Champions League football for the Gunners next season. That will in turn severely impact on their transfer budget.

But alas maybe a deal could be done that will see forward Alexandre Lacazette move in the opposite direction. The striker has done a decent job in North London but the main goal threat comes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who Arsenal still need to tie down to a long term deal (if they can).

Los Rojiblancos are known to be long time admirers of the French striker and so a straight swap could suit all parties!

If Thomas Partey were to arrive at The Emirates, then you could imagine that Arteta would be able to free some more funds by selling off one of his current central midfielders.

Granit Xhaka has had a few nightmares since joining Arsenal in 2016. Earlier in this campaign his career in London seemed to be over after he fell out with his own supporters but his performances have vastly improved under Arteta’s guidance and I’d imagine his stay will continue beyond this summer.

Lucas Torreira is a real battler and a bit of a fan favourite but the Uruguayan international has still to win a regular place in the Arsenal starting eleven. His future remains unclear.

The biggest question mark surrounds Matteo Guendouzi. The young French middle man was extremely popular under former boss Unai Emery but his discipline has been called into question under his new gaffer.

Matteo was criticised with his antics during his side’s recent Premier League loss to Brighton. Afterwards it was reported that he made quips at opponents about their wage compared to his.

He has since been dropped by Arteta, who then confirmed it was down to an ‘internal matter‘:

“Whatever internal issue we have, we deal with it privately.

“The needs of the team and the football club are always the same – put the best players on the pitch who are 100 per cent focused on winning the game.”

Mikel Arteta via Talksport

If the Spanish coach believes Guendouzi has problems with ill discipline then it could be better off selling the youngster. Plus he’ll know that he could get a very decent price for the twenty-one year old, especially if a superpower like PSG or Barcelona are interested in his signature.

Now while The Gunners have quite a few talented young forwards on their books, you’d still expect them to bring in another central striker if Lacazette were to move to Atletico Madrid.

A potential readymade replacement could be Celtic hitman Odsonne Edouard.

The French under-21 internationalist has been in superb form for The Scottish Premiership champions since is arrival in 2017.

He has bagged 62 goals in 126 appearances for The Hoops. He’s a big game player scoring multiple times against main rivals Rangers, in Cup Finals and eleven times in Europe!

The striker can play as a solo front-man or as a partner with others. Odsonne has both pace and power. He can come deep, freeing up room for a fellow forward – ideal for someone like Aubameyang. Edouard can also run at or in behind defences. He holds the ball up well and brings others into the game.

His style and attributes aren’t too dissimilar to that of Alexandre Lacazette. Edouard’s current deal runs out in 2022, if he doesn’t sign a new one then this summer could be Celtic’s best chance of getting an optimum fee for the Frenchman.

By bringing in two players like Thomas Partey and Odsonne Edouard and selling Alexandre Lacazette and Matteo Guendouzi, Arsenal would be getting two fresh ambitious faces and players that would be eager to impress Mikel Arteta.

It could also leave a wee bit of cash in the pot for Arsenal to rectify that dodgy defence – HintThiago Silva is not the answer!

Celtic Shouldn’t Take Gamble On Joe Hart

I am not totally surprised to see Celtic being linked with former England and Manchester City number one Joe Hart (Source The Scotsman).

It wouldn’t really surprise me if the Scottish Premiership champions were happy to see their name linked with the goalkeeper. They do need a new shot-stopper given Fraser Forster has returned to Southampton after his loan spell last term and former number one Craig Gordon leaving to rejoin Hearts this summer (Confirmed by HeartsFC.co.uk)

Now I don’t think The Hoops are actively looking to seal a deal with Hart, I actually think they’ll be more inclined to use the speculation as a bargaining chip to use in their transfer negotiations to bring Forster back to Parkhead from Southampton.

If Neil Lennon and Celtic’s hierarchy are serious in regards to Joe Hart, then I would urge extreme caution.

In his prime, Hart was a very good goalie at City and with England. He was cock of the north and loved the adulation that came with being number one for both club and country.

Joe was never the best keeper in the world, as he wasn’t great with his distribution and had the odd mistake within his game but saying that he had plenty of self confidence and had terrific reflexes.

Unfortunately that wasn’t enough for Pep Guardiola and when the legendary coach arrived at The Etihad he instantly decided that Hart didn’t fit in with his plans and need for a sweeper keeper.

Hart wasn’t helped by the fact he had also endured a poor Euros in 2016, two of his mistakes led to goals against his own team.

Hart was quick to realise that his time was up at Man City:

“I spent not a great deal of time with him but we immediately had a difference in opinion in how our careers were going to go. I was up against a superpower.

Joe Hart Via Manchester Evening News

Now in the four years since Guardiola’s arrival, City have gone from strength to strength and unfortunately for Joe his career has totally spiralled in the opposite direction.

A loan move to Serie A with Torino was marred by too many individual errors by the shot-stopper.

West Ham United then took him on loan during the next season and he ended that campaign on the bench as again too many mistakes crept into his game.

The goalkeeper then moved on a permanent deal to Burnley and he’s been there for the last two years.

In his first year at Turf Moor, he played in nineteen Premier League games but that was more out of necessity than due to his performance. He arrived with Nick Pope and Tom Heaton out injured. They would both overtake Hart in Sean Dyche’s plans once they were fully fit again. Ironically both were also ahead of Hart in the pecking order for England.

Joe didn’t make a single league appearance in the 2019-20 campaign for The Clarets and it was announced that he’d leave the club this month (From Daily Mail).

In all honesty Joe Hart has been a broken man since his City departure. He has lost that confidence that would see him get the best out of himself. Plus he still has all those failings that saw Pep dump him in the first place.

Why would Celtic gamble on a goalie that is past his best, just when they ‘re in the hunt for that elusive tenth league title in a row.

I don’t think he’s as good as Fraser Forster and in the last four years I don’t think he has been as good as the now departed Craig Gordon.

I’m not saying that Joe Hart couldn’t do a job at Celtic but when the chips are down can you bank on him not making a mistake in a game that really mattered?

There are better options out there and I just can’t see many upsides in Celtic bringing in a keeper that’s well past his peak!

Man United Could Just Get The Focused Paul Pogba That They Always Wanted

It’s fair to say that Paul Pogba has had a bit of a rollercoaster ride since arriving back at Manchester United in the summer of 2016.

The French World Cup winner has been seen as the focal point to this current United team. He has scored vital goals and created numerous assists but interlaced in those virtuoso performances has been low key and frustrating outings.

Reports seem to surface during every transfer window that the midfielder is keen to leave Old Trafford, this was especially true during Jose Mourinho’s tenure in charge of The Red Devils.

Some in the media and some amongst the Man United faithful also complained and left perplexed that Paul seemed to give more assured and disciplined performances for his national side!

Injury has curtailed much of Pogba’s season but it hasn’t stopped rumours linking the player with a move to Real Madrid (Source The Metro).

Yet the twenty-seven year old has returned post lockdown and looks to be more disciplined and just as influential.

A big reason for this, in my opinion, has been the arrival of Portuguese maestro Bruno Fernandes.

People often thought that the signing of defensive minded Nemanja Matic was to give Pogba license to roam and flourish as a creative talent.

But in truth, Paul Pogba likes to be more of an number eight who can do both at any given time. So playing in a midfield three with Scott McTominay/Matic and Fernandes seems to suit the Frenchman.

He doesn’t need to stick completely to one role. He can help out in the engine room when he’s needed and move forward when the opportunity arises.

With Fernandes making an instant impact at Man Utd, he has taken away the need for Pogba to feel he constantly has to be chief creator and be on the front foot.

In Man United’s 3-0 home win over Sheffield United (BBC Match Report), the game in which Fernandes and Pogba started in their first game together, both were terrific and helped ticking the game over in United’s favour.

Pogba gave one of his most disciplined performances in a United jersey. In the main he stuck to the right side of his midfield’s righthand side, pushing forwards to help the attack when possible.

Paul made the most amount of successful dribbles, made sixty-six key passes and was very good in the air too. (Stats Via Whoscored)

The midfield partnership excites current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who also stated that having Bruno at the club will allow him to move Pogba around:

“I’m certain they can play well together, yes,”

“They’ve both played well in training and in the games they play together it’s exciting. There will be rotations and there will be times that Paul will play up with Bruno, sometimes it’s deeper, sometimes we will play with a diamond. It’s encouraging to see them together.” 

Via ManUtd.com

The future is starting to look a bit brighter for Manchester United. Their now seems to be a more balanced squad and the players seem hungry to succeed at the top level.

If Solskjaer and his club’s hierarchy can add a few more top class new recruits this summer and keep Paul Pogba happy at the club, then maybe just maybe The Red Devils can mount more of a serious challenge on significant silverware next term.

Chelsea Could Be Next To Rival For Premier League Title

Liverpool are deserved Premier League champions this season.

Yet it was Chelsea that helped The Reds secure their first top flight title in thirty years, when they defeated last season’s champions Manchester City during the week (BBC Match Report).

As well as securing Liverpool’s title triumph, that result also showed us that Chelsea’s potential under current coach Frank Lampard is very real!

Many sides would suffer if given a years transfer ban, yet The Blues have actually thrived during those difficult circumstances.

The club’s hierarchy sought out Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, who had just experienced his first year as a football manager at Derby County. The rookie boss showed that he had the skill-set to work well with a club’s youth set-up and that excited The Blues support. It also helped that he brought with him fellow former Chelsea man Jody Morris, who had successfully worked with The Blues academy in the past.

So with the management team believing in playing bright youngsters, Morris knowing the talent that Chelsea had in their academy and with a transfer ban hanging over the club it has actually meant that Chelsea have evolved as a football club.

Youngsters like Recce James, Mason Mount, Billy Gilmour and Fikayo Tomori have all been given more minutes on the pitch and they’ve impressed.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi have battled back from injury and straight into the first team picture again.

New signings (done before the transfer ban) Mateo Kovacic and Christian Pulisic have added something different to the first team ranks too.

Older players like Olivier Giroud, N’Golo Kante and Cesar Azpilicueta have helped bring the best out of the youngsters.

They’ve performed really well this term, currently sitting in the Premier League’s top four. They’re also still in the FA Cup.

One thing they probably need is a bit more star power and strength in depth in certain areas.

Yet Chelsea and Lampard seem to be acting quickly in bringing in top quality new recruits.

Hakim Ziyech is an extremely talented right sided attacker. In twenty-seven Eredivisie and Champions League appearances, Hakim has managed to score eight goals and create sixteen assists for Ajax in the 2019-20 campaign.

The Moroccan will join the Stamford Bridge team in a £37m deal on July the first (Source Talksport).

Next season Ziyech will be joined at Chelsea by Timo Werner. The German international was highly sought after but The Blues blew any other potential suitor out of the water with an eye watering bid.

Werner has been a prolific goalscorer for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. His goals will be most welcome at Stamford Bridge. The player himself is happy to be heading to London and believes the future looks bright for both himself and his new employers:

‘I am delighted to be signing for Chelsea, it is a very proud moment for me to be joining this great club. I of course want to thank RB Leipzig, the club and the fans, for four fantastic years. You will forever be in my heart. I look forward to next season with my new team-mates, my new manager and of course the Chelsea fans. Together we have a very successful future ahead of us.’

Werner via Chelseafc.com

Both of these new recruits will boost the Chelsea ranks with more goals and assists.

The Blues have also been heavily linked with Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell.

Frank Lampard is known to be a fan of Havertz (From Evening Standard) and the young German midfielder does look like a top notch player. The Bayer Leverkusen star makes perfectly timed runs into the box and finishes his chances with aplomb. He shares plenty of traits with Lampard the player!

The Chelsea boss doesn’t seem to be overly convinced be either Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri. Chilwell has impressed at Leicester City, helping them gain a place in the top four. His performances have seen him rewarded by winning a call-up for the England national team. It will be interesting to see how much The Foxes want for the left back, reports suggest it could be as high as £75m (Source – The Metro)

If Chelsea could add those two players to those two that they’ve already signed plus then maybe another goalkeeper and a top class centre-half then Chelsea could be ready to join Liverpool and Man City in next season’s Premier League title race.

Frank Lampard really seems to be building a dynasty at Stamford Bridge. If they can win the FA Cup this term and bring in a few more world class performers, then that could be the foundations to something really special.